Harry Cisneros desperately wants to escape moribund Cuba, but he is trapped by circumstances – a wife, a daughter and a lack of money. A dead ringer for Leonardo Di Caprio, Harry’s three years in New Jersey as a teenager and his perfect English, make him an American at heart.
No longer content to work in a cigar factory, Harry hustles as a translator in the plaza of the colonial city of Cienfuegos. A chance meeting with a young American couple sets Harry off into a dark odyssey. The couple tells Harry about their experience in Havana of changing dollars into CUCs, the Cuban currency used for tourists. Harry decides to travel to the big city of Havana to explore the black market “dollar” business in hopes of making enough money to leave Cuba with his family.
Harry meets the characters involved in the money exchange business that pervades Havana’s underground – a Cuban, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and a French restaurateur. Headquarters is Kirpan, a bustling, trendy Cuban restaurant whose partners send Harry out into the streets and plazas of Havana to change currencies and add more dollars to their coffers to invest in Cuba’s potential booming future.
A Russian businessman spots Harry hanging around a busy plaza and asks him to do some translating. He sees Harry can be useful to him in other ways and sends him to the government application office to find out how his Russian applications for partnering with the Cuban government measure up against other foreign applications. Harry becomes an unwitting spy,
To survive, Harry has to thread a complicated maze of disappearances and duplicities. In time, he discovers that nothing is what it seems.